Have you ever wondered how a last name came into existence? Or where certain last names come from? Here you will find 100 popular French last names with their meanings.
No matter the meaning behind the name, it connects you to your family. As such, it can be used to trace your family tree back and learn more about who you are and where you come from. Your last name is almost as much a part of your identity as your first name is.
Abadie is a French last name meaning “abbey” and “family chapel”.
It comes from the word “abadia”.
Allard is an old French surname which means “noble”, that originated in Germany.
Archambeau is a French last name that means “bold” or “daring”.
It originally came from the Latin name “Arcambaldus” and the German word “Ercan”.
This French surname means “Clear”.
Auclair derives from the French word “clair”.
Barbier is an Old French last name that originates from the ancestral profession of barber.
A fun fact about this last name is that there is a crater on the moon named Barbier.
Baudelaire means “small sword” or “dagger”.
If you are thinking that this name sounds familiar, it was the family name of the three siblings in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Beaufort is a French surname meaning “beautiful fortress”.
Beaumont is a French surname meaning “beautiful hill or mountain”.
This French last name means white as it came from the French word “blanc”.
Apparently, it was originally given to those who were blonde or had a pure or pious reputation.
Blouin is a French surname meaning “blue” or “an unusually pale complexion”.
The French last name Bodin means “shelter” or “one who brings news”.
Boire is a French surname that means “to drink” as it is the same as the French verb “boire”.
A lot of French surnames have actually originated from this verb or the verb “bibere” (also “to drink”), such as Bibeau, Bibaud, and Bibaut.
Bois is a French last name which means “bush”, “shrub”, or “undergrowth”.
This French surname is another example of an occupation becoming a last name. This is because un boucher is a butcher.
Cadieux is a French last name meaning “little fighter”.
It is an ancient surname that comes from the word “cad”.
Cartier is another name that could have originated because of an ancestor’s job. It comes from the Norman-Anglo French word for a person who transported goods.
Castillon is a French surname meaning “castle”.
This French last name means “storeroom”.
Chapdelaire is a French surname meaning “hooded cloak, cape, hat”.
Chastain is a French last name meaning “from the chestnut tree”.
It originated from the Latin word “castanea”.
Chevrolet may sound familiar as it is a car company which was founded in 1913 by Swiss engineer, Louis Chevrolet.
It is a popular French last name as well though, which was first found in Normandy, meaning “goat herder” due to it coming from the French word “chèvre”.
Corbin is a French surname meaning “raven, little crow”, which comes from the French word “corbeau”.
This French surname means “golden village”.
De La Fontaine
This French surname means “from the fountain” and may sound familiar as it is the last name of a famous writer, Jean de La Fontaine.
There is also a French last name which is simply Fontaine meaning “fountain”.
This is another occupational French last name, which comes from someone who would plant or work on the vrilles (tendrils).
Dubois is a French surname meaning “forest”.
This name is also popular in America.
This French last name could have come from where your ancestors lived as it means “of the plantation” or refers to someone who lives near a plantation of trees.
Dupont is a French surname meaning “of the bridge”. Like Duplantier, Dupont may refer to your ancestors living near a bridge.
This French last name means “enduring”. It is an old French name and is the eighth most common name in France.
Edouard means “prosperous guardian” and can be linked to Olde English through its similarity to the English surname “Edwards”.
Like the previous French last name, Escoffier is linked to the Olde English surname “Edwards” and means “prosperity guard”.
There is a second meaning which is “to dress” coming from the word “escofia”.
Farrow is another French last name that comes from an occupation. It is named after an ironworker, or “ferror”.
Favreau and Fèvre
Both Favreau and Fèvre mean a blacksmith. They come from the Latin word “faber”. Favreau is the Southern French version, while Fèvre is Northern French.
This French surname was used for a baker because they used the “fourneau” to cook the dough.
Fraise is a French last name for someone who lived near an ash tree or ash wood.
You may be a little confused to see this name on a list of last names as it is more commonly associated with French first names, but it is also a common French surname.
It literally means “Frenchman”.
Gagneux means “to cultivate” or “to farm”, coming from the word “gagnier”.
This is another word that you may recognise as a brand name but is a French last name as well.
It comes from the French word “garner” or “gernier” and means “storehouse for grain” or “keeper of the granary”.
This is a French surname that means “army ruler”. It originates from the Gaelic word “gaut” and Old French word “gault” meaning “forest”.
This popular French last name comes from the name “William” and means “protection” or “strength”.
Heroux is a French surname which comes from a German first name “Hariwulf”, “Hari” meaning “army” and “wulf” meaning “wolf”.
This French last name has two meanings.
The first is that it comes from Haute-Loire, a village in Auvergne, South France.
The second is that it comes from the first name Oudet and means “wealth” as that name is derived from the German name “Ode” or “Aud”.
This French last name means “heart”.
Jacques is another French name which can be a first or last name and means “the one who follows”.
Janvier is a French name that you may recognise from learning the French months because it translates to “January”.
Joubert is a French surname which is the combination of two words. The Tribe name “Gaut” is added to “berth” which means “bright” or “famous”.
Kaplan means “charity priest”. It comes from the Old Norman French word “Caplain”.
La Rue is a French last name which simply means “of the street” or “of the road”.
The meaning of this French surname is “the cross”.
Laflamme became a French last name for a torchbearer as it was used as both the occupations name and a nickname.
Langlais is a French surname meaning “The Englishmen” so was typically given to those who moved to live in France from England.
Lapointe is a French last name meaning “the point”.
Laurent is a French last name meaning “Laurel”.
Lavigne originates from the Old French word “vi(g)ne” meaning “vineyard”.
This French last name was used for someone who lived near a road as it comes from the word “voie” meaning “road”.
Léandre is a French last name which came from Greek words meaning “Lion man”.
This French surname means “The Mayor”. It began as a title.
Lemieux is a French last name which means “the best”.
This French name comes from the word “le roy” meaning “the king”. It is common in Northern France.
Lévesque is the French last name meaning “bishop”.
The meaning of the French surname Lyon is fairly simple because it refers to someone who comes from Lyon, France.
This French last name means “mason”.
This French surname means “miller”.
Monet is a variation of Simon and means “to be heard”.
Montagne is another location-based French surname meaning “mountain”.
This French last name originated as a nickname for someone with dark skin, and means “dark-skinned”.
Moulin comes from the Latin word “molina” which means “mill”.
This French last name means “walnut”.
Ozanne originated as the female name “Osanna” and means “save now” or “save pray”.
Page is an occupational French last name which comes from the Greek “paidion” meaning “little boy”.
This French surname means “pigeon keeper” because it comes from the Latin word for pigeon, “palumbes”.
This French last name comes from Quebec and translates as the Lord’s Prayer because of its link with the English and Italian name Paternoster.
This French last name means “bundle of kindling” as it comes from the word “pacquet”.
Pascal means “Passover” because it comes from the Latin word “pascha”.
This French surname was given to those who originally came from the Périgord region of France.
Renaud as a surname simply means “rule”.
This French surname means “wealthy place”.
This French name was given to someone who lived near a river as it comes from the French word “rivière” meaning “river” or “shore”.
This French surname comes from the Latin word “rota” meaning “wheel”, so was generally used for a wheelwright or someone who lived near a water wheel.
This name comes from the French word “rous” which means “red”. Thus, the name was used for a person with red hair or complexion.
There are two meanings to the name Rutter.
It could have come from the French words “roteor”, “roteeur”, and “routeer”, in which case it would mean a person who plays the rote.
Or, it could have come from the French word “rotier” or “routier,” which would mean “highwayman”.
In full Sauveterre means “safe land” because it comes from “sauve” which means “safe” and “terre” which means “land”.
This is an occupational French last name for a grower or seller of rye because it originates from the Latin word “secale”.
This French surname means “servant”.
Serres has two potential meanings.
It could be used for someone from Southern or Eastern France.
Or it could come from “serre” which means “ridge” or “chain of hills”.
Simon is a popular European last name, meaning “to listen”.
This French surname was used for a shoemaker, because of all the words it could have derived from, they all refer to a different type of shoe.
Tavernier comes from the French word for “innkeeper”.
This name means “aspen” and could have been used for someone who lived near aspen trees.
Trottier is a French last name meaning “fast walker”.
This French name can be linked to the term “Toussaint” which is All Saints Day.
Vernier means “near the alder tree”.
Vieux comes from the French word “vieux” and means “old” in English.
Vigneau is another French surname which means “vineyard”, although this one was more likely used for the owner.
Vinet also has links with a vineyard and means “to make wine”.
This French surname simply means “face”.
This is an Old French name meaning “the wealthy one”.
Yotte is a French surname that means “small hedge” or “small woody plot of land.”
This French last name is a variation of “belle” meaning “beautiful”.
There are many more French surnames, but these are the most popular 100, along with their meanings.